You asked if I would like my lovely blog to be part of your network, and I thought I would respond using my lovely blog. Which by the way is not lovely. It’s quite dull mostly and very political. Politics has always been one of the prisms through which I look at the world, but that wasn’t what this blog was supposed to be. Up until 2010, the mumsnet election, it was just me talking about being a mum. Had you asked me if you could use my ‘lovely’ blog in 2009, I probably would have said yes. It is now 2014, and I am afraid I have to say go fuck yourself.
It’s not your members that are the problem, I am aware it is a community of intelligent, informed women and I don’t resort to the shitty devaluation of women once their uteruses(uterii? Uterus doesn’t usually need a plural) have been used and I know quite a few of your members. They are women worth knowing. My blog has in the past been widely read and shared on your site. It’s not that you are a website and online community whose focus is parenting, when my daughter was small I wouldn’t have breastfed or had access to half the information and support I did, without such a website.
The problem is you. The problem is what you have done, and what you have been. I happen to know that the people who are at the heart of your website are on the fringes of a media and politics community I didn’t know existed till the advent of twitter exposed it to daylight. That your influence is nothing more than influence gained because your founders are in close proximity to that culture. What you have done with that influence has been nothing short of disgusting.
You were quite happy to build the mumsnet name on political engagement of mothers, so much so that the first piece I was ever commissioned to write was about the ‘mumsnet election’. Following that election mothers were targetted repeatedly to silence. Within a year, before anyone was concerned about foodbanks, one in five mothers in the UK was missing meals to deal with austerity. We were fucked over from every direction, to absolute silence while you built your brand presenting yourselves as the face of political engagement with us. I’ll be honest with you, your twee badge presented as political engagement of mothers has been used to hide the complete disenfranchisement and systematic removal of british working class mothers from having legal representation, a means to earn a living, and any hope of democratic representation and their new role as scapegoats for politicians to project on to. People use your name as evidence that somehow politicians are engaging with mothers, and all politicians need to to get validation is appear on one of your lively webchats. I find you fundamentally dishonest and I think your brand is very damaging to women full stop.
I asked you once if you would share a blog about malnutrition, which given the state of mothers in this country and the high likelihood of many of your members going without food, I didn’t think was unreasonable. But you don’t do that. So no, you can’t use my lovely blog to build your brand. I would rather eat my own shit. Writers I respect like Nick Cohen, found that the way you do business is distinctly unpleasant, and I don’t really want to be associated with you.
There is a writer called Kate Belgrave, you’ll know of her. She is currently covering the plight of some of the mothers fucked over to silence because of austerity. They aren’t the usual type you go for and they couldn’t possibly pay you for your platform. If you give a shit about mothers, contact her and ask if there is anything you can do to help those motehrs as they fight a whirlwind of shit that is not their doing but has been partially faciliated by your use of political influence. Then we’ll talk.